John John’s magic stubby step-up for the Margaret’s event proved to be the perfect board
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 April, 2017 - Yes we’re still buzzing about John John’s performance at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro this weekend. The wild and woolly waves of the west had found a surfer to match their power and perfection. Runner up Kolohe Andino said John John’s surfing was sublime with positioning and timing and his boards seemed to be creating their own speed.
This led us to ponder what JJF was riding on his way to victory at one of the most memorable CT events in years. We talked to shaper Jon Pyzel who designed the magic quiver for Margaret’s.
Considering the power of the waves in the region, were the quivers similar to boards shaped for Hawaii?
Absolutely. He ended up riding a board we have called The Ghost, which I started making for team riders and friends a while back, and everyone loved it so much I finally got JJ on one at the beginning of the winter and he really took to it. All the waves in Margaret’s are very powerful and a bit wild, just like Hawaii.
John John © Joliphoto
Kolohe Andino said “His boards seemed to be cutting through sections and getting more speed than anyone else.” What did you do in his quiver to help with this wave?
The Ghost he was riding was 6'2'' x 18.88 x 2.50 and has about 29+ liters of volume, which is quite a bit more than his standard short boards. It's kind of what I would call a "Stubby Step-up" in that it has the thickness and wide point pushed forward a bit, giving it a nice momentum through turns and helping to reduce chatter in the windy conditions. It has a lower entry rocker for drive and "carry", but lots of tail curve so that you can really push through a turn at top speed without worrying about it sliding out. There are a lot of little details that add up to a board's "feel'' and I am just happy that we found a good formula for those type of waves. To me that board looked like it fit exactly to what JJ was wanting to do out there.
Just curious, how many boards does the world champ go through in a year?
I would say probably between 80- 100 boards. We make little batches throughout the contest season, different stuff for different places.
Compared to the Margaret’s quiver, how will the boards for Bells Beach be different?
He probably won't be riding the board he rode on that day at North Point, and he probably won't need to ride a 6'2'' again, so I am guessing he'll be jumping onto his new favorite shortboard the Voyager 1. It's got a bit less nose rocker than the boards he has been riding in the past, so it should help him deal with the flat spots that are a big challenge in the Bells lineup. It's a board we worked out after the Pipe Pro this spring, and it is what he rode at Snapper. He's got a wider range of boards this year, and I think he has opened up his thinking about switching up designs to better suit the wave conditions.